home improvement

upgrades, upgrades. moving on up. i could call this post “living without stuff pt IV: cynthia decides to scrap the whole minimalism thing”, but that’s not entirely true. you see…

by athens (the last couple days of a two month american/grecian travel whirlwind), i was so excited to get back to my own flat and just do normal life things. cook, read, hang out on the balcony… but since we’ve decided to stay at least one more year here in budejovice, we realized our living situation needed a little overhaul.
maybe this is because of the “luxurious” american living we’ve experienced… or perhaps it’s more closely related to our renewed determination to make things work here for awhile longer… but either way, we both agreed it was time to shell out a little extra cash to ensure that our home is much homier.

01. we got these handmade pillow covers (above) at this shop in north plaka, athens and i adore them. not only did we need more pillows to beef up our sofa, but i know these will be a wonderful travel keepsake for the rest of my life.

02. first CSA! last autumn i heard rumors that there was a place in town (a small farm shop) where you could purchase a weekly CSA (commmunity-supported agriculture) vegetable box that was organic and from local farms! i missed out on that last year, so as soon as we got back, i took my new-found confidence* and marched into u dobraka. it is so fun to have a fridge full of fresh vegetables, but not only that, they taste WAY better than the lidl (i still love you, lidl) vegetables we always get and…. THERE WAS KALE.  so that would make this the first time i’ve purchased the very elusive kale in the czech republic. (SO IT DOES EXIST!) this is definitely going to be a regular thing!

*there is a phenomenon whenever i leave CZ to go on a longer holiday in an english speaking place that i come back with a renewed confidence and no longer feel bashful about wanting to speak english or needing to feel like “blending”. in greece, there was no blending in for this blond, pale-skinned lady. and i kind of liked that. i’m not going to go all “ugly american” or anything like that, but currently i’m feeling at peace with trying to speak english around here and not being too shy or embarassed to march into any little shop and try to communicate. i feel freer and a better version of myself this way, not trying to act like a czech local who doesn’t even really speak czech. (my expat buddies, maybe you can relate….?)

03. speaking of kale, long-time readers will know my penchant at whining about the lack of kale and cilantro in the czech republic. and it’s not only me– #kalewatch is a well-known thing on the czech expat forums! well, i decided to take matters into my own hands and planted some starters, as well as watercress sprouts, which i also miss. here’s hoping!

04. balcony upgrade time. we got a great deal on this balcony set on final sleva at baumax, and because it is slightly damaged in one area, were able to talk our way into 30% off that. paired with some of that bamboo privacy fencing you see all over the place, we are really cooking with gas now! (i cannot deal with being watched at when i just wanna hang on my own balcony) looking forward to many a morning hanging out here lingering over a cup of tea! (but for a moment, please imagine alex and i carrying both the chair/table set and bamboo a couple kilometers to the bus stop. laughable)

so, those are a few big changes we made in days one and two of coming back to our house. one thing i really love about travel: how it inspires you to make changes and tweak things for the better!

what have you been upgrading lately? (or downshifting?)